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Friday, August 30, 2013

How to keep energy costs down

Lower energy costs with multilayered ETFE
ETFE foil is 100% recyclable
By James Murphy

If you're a homeowner you are most likely constantly looking for new and innovate ways to improve your home's energy efficiency and as a result keep energy bills down.

There are numerous ways to do this and these range from things such as reducing your water consumption rates to keeping all electrical devices unplugged when not in use.   One of the best ways to ensure that you are not wasting money on energy bills is by making sure that your home has been properly insulated. 

It can be hard to tell if heat is escaping from our homes and this is easily the biggest cause of overpriced bills.   There are a large number of materials you can use to insulate your home including polystyrene and glass wool, but I advise you to consider having the roof of certain rooms replaced with ETFE foil. ETFE properties include excellent insulation, and a range of other benefits that will improve your home while keeping energy bills low.  

What is ETFE Foil?

ETFE stands for Ethylene Tetra Flouro Ethylene and this material is a form of modified copolymer with transparent qualities. ETFE foil can be bought as a single layer membrane, but the majority of ETFE foil roofing is sold in two to five layer systems. The foil is supported by an aluminium perimeter and this in turn is supported by the main building frame.   

Multilayered foil roofing utilises pneumatic cushions between the layers, and these cushions are kept in place by using a small pressure unit. This increases the insulation qualities of the roof and adds stability to the overall structure.

A triple layered ETFE foil roof will have a greater insulating value than triple glazed windows, and yet this material is only 1% the weight of a relative pane of glass.   Although this material is quite light it can support up to 400 times its own weight, which makes it very suitable for use in areas that have heavy snowfall. ETFE foil can transmit the entire visible spectrum range and most of the UV range.   

Why choose ETFE foil?

There are a number of reasons why I advise you to choose ETFE foil when you're searching for a new insulating material. Apart from the obvious superior insulating qualities this material possesses, ETFE foil will reduce the carbon emissions from your home. ETFE foil is 100% recyclable, making it one of the most environmentally friendly materials sold on the market. An ETFE foil roof will increase a room's natural light transmission, and this will have a positive effect on those within the room.   

The extra light means you will not need as much artificial lighting in the room, reducing the amount of electricity used and in turn keeping your energy bills low. ETFE foil roofs require very low maintenance and are resistant to environmental weathering and UV damage.   This fibre has a very long lifespan, and there are a number of additional coatings that can be added to the foil to increase thermal capabilities or reduce glare from the Sun. If you're interested in purchasing ETFE foil then I recommend you buy from a reputable company such as Vector Foiltec.   

About the author: James Murphy is a home improvement blogger with a strong interest in energy efficiency. James likes to spend his free time working on his novel and searching for rare Penguin Modern Classics in second hand bookshops.

* Image license: Stewart Damonsing; CC BY-SA 2.0